In a recent article published by the Guardian, author Jamiles Lartey highlights the vast life expectancy ages amongst residents. His analysis carefully looks at two Chicago Neighborhoods – Streeterville and Englewood. In Streeterville, residents can expect to live up to 90 years old, whereas in Englewood the life expectancy is drastically reduced to age 60.
This vast disparity is the most significant of two neighborhoods sharing a city boundary. The distinction highlights that Chicago is still a very bi-polar city, says Gaurav Mohindra. Streeterville is located near Lake Michigan and is populated with numerous luxury condo high rises. The average income in Streeterville is nearly $100,000 have 80% of residents hold college degrees. In contrast, in Englewood, around 8.2% of residents hold college degrees. Having an advanced degree has been tied to longer life expectancy in numerous studies around the world. In general, it has been found that advanced degrees typically result in higher salaries which can provide better access to health care.
Englewood is considered one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. In a city that is already suffering from violent crime, being recognized as one of the more dangerous parts of the city – contributes to loss of life at younger ages. The article also notes that Englewood has one of the highest rates of lead contamination in the country. Exposure to lead causes numerous health ailments, including aggressiveness in children.
Chicago recently elected a new Mayor – Lori Lightfoot. She overwhelmingly won support throughout the city. Many of the constituents supporting Lightfoot were eager for her to improve the disparities amongst the neighborhoods in Chicago, says Gaurav Mohindra.
Having been in office for a short period, Lightfoot has already started making changes. She quickly became a vocal antagonist against aldermen accused of wrongdoing and publicly asked for their resignations. Lightfoot also recognizes the violence and crime plaguing the city and the interplay between cities and the Chicago Police Department. Previously, Lightfoot served as the chief administrator of the Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards. In that role, Lightfoot oversaw the investigations of police misconduct. Subsequent to that role, Lightfoot was appointed to become the President of the Chicago Police Board. In that position, she was tasked with the responsibility to provide recommendations on disciplinary actions in police misconduct matters.
Lightfoot’s unique background as a public servant and private sector attorney give her a unique vantage point to assess the Chicago’s issues, says Gaurav Mohindra. Hopefully, with her stewardship, neighborhoods in Chicago will see more balance and overall the quality of life will improve across the city.